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Transforming Society

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Restoring Dignity

SAHRC hears of racial connotations about Black women in advertising

30 Aug 2022

The Black Billboard Owners Alliance says a derogatory racial connotation still exists behind the image and portrayal of Black women in advertising.

The alliance's Savita Mbuli's been giving evidence at the South African Human Rights Commission inquiry into racism and discrimination in the advertising industry.
"When an advert is about a white woman getting a gift, it is romanticised, the gift is beautifully wrapped, it's an act of love.

"But when it is a Black woman getting that, the connotation is that there is a blesser. It is not beautiful. Nothing about Black women in adverts."

She says it's still a white-dominated space and the key decision makers are not diverse enough.

"The question then is why is it still happening despite so many interventions and emphasis of elevating the status of Black woman? It is not that advertisers are tone deaf and it is not that there are no Black people on the teams that create these discriminatory adverts.

"The fact of the matter is that Black people do not have the decision-making power to sign on the dotted line. The majority of creative are white people. That is why we see a white story with Black people in it."  

Source: East Coast Radio

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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